Objective The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of perception of prognostic risk on anxiety, depression, and disease-related distress in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Study design and setting Perceived risk and perceived seriousness of the 2-year, 10-year, and lifetime prognosis of wheelchair dependence, disability status, anxiety, depression, and disease-related distress were assessed in 101 patients. Distress was measured as the intrusion and avoidance of MS-related thoughts and feelings. Results Patients with higher perceptions of 2-year, 10-year, or lifetime risk were bothered by more intrusion of MS-related thoughts and feelings. Only higher perception of the 2-year risk of wheelchair dependence was significantly related with higher levels of anxiety, depression, and avoidance. Similarly, higher perception of the seriousness of wheelchair dependence was consistently associated with more intrusion and avoidance, but only perceived seriousness of the 2-year prospect of wheelchair dependence was significantly correlated with anxiety and depression. All relations were independent of clinically assessed disability status. Conclusion Perceptions of the short-term risk and seriousness of wheelchair dependence were significantly related to anxiety, depression, and disease-related distress in patients with MS. These findings underscore the importance of informing patients with chronic disorders about the short-term prognosis of important long-term consequences of disease.

Anxiety, Depression, Expectations, Mental health, Multiple sclerosis, Risk perception
dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0895-4356(03)00260-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/65220
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Department of Neurology

Janssens, A.C.J.W, van Doorn, P.A, de Boer, J.B, van der Meché, F.G.A, Passchier, J, & Hintzen, R.Q. (2004). Perception of prognostic risk in patients with multiple sclerosis: The relationship with anxiety, depression, and disease-related distress. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 57(2), 180–186. doi:10.1016/S0895-4356(03)00260-9